Free Throw "Ace"
Free Throw Drill 2
Floor Shooting Drill
by B. Dale, Copyright © 2003-2006
Purpose - To develop:
- shooting touch on fingers and pads of hand;
- smooth shooting motion with shooting arm;
- and positive visualization
This drill will get you to shoot the basketball with a form that is perfect for you. The main emphasis is to get the ball to feel good coming out of your hand. Different people have different shooting forms, but one thing that is common in all great shooters is that the ball feels good coming out of their hands. That’s what this drill is all about.
This drill will do 2 things: get you to shoot with good form; and to make the ball feel good when it comes out of your hand.
It’s easier to practice your perfect form laying down than it is when you are out on the court. When you are out on the court, you have more things to focus on – your foot positioning, your distance from the basket, making sure you are facing the basket, etc. When you lay down to do this drill, you don’t have to worry about all that. You only have to focus on your arm, your hand, and the ball.
When you lay down and shoot the ball into the air, focus on shooting it straight into the air, so the ball goes straight up and comes straight down.
The best thing about this drill is that it’ll help you to get a great shooter’s touch. Great shooters take hundreds of shots every day. Over time, the ball feels comfortable in their hand when they hold it, and it feels good coming out of their hand with each shot. You can get these same effects when you do this drill. The repetition of shooting the ball in the air will get your hand comfortable with the feel of the ball on the pads of your hand and fingers as well as the proper motions of shooting.
The great thing about this drill
is that it can be done anywhere
1. lay down on your back (on the floor, on your bed)
2. hold the ball in a shooting position
3. shoot the ball in the air:
- extend your arm
- let your wrist naturally propel the ball up into the air (don't flick your wrist - it should be a natural "floppy" motion)
- hold your shooting arm straight while the ball is in the air (follow-through)
- catch the ball with your shooting hand on the pads of your hand and fingers, NOT on your palm, and return to the starting position
The ball should go straight up
(remember to hold the follow through)
Remember, while you’re doing this drill:
Do this drill for at least 5 minutes a day. When you combine it with real shooting practice out on the court, you'll notice a big difference in your touch and stroke in just a few days.
- keep the ball on the pads of you hand and your fingertips (do not let it sit on your palm)
- extend your arm fully when you “shoot” (guide the ball straight up)
- shoot "through" your guide hand (your non-shooting hand) - your guide hand is used just for balance when you are in the set position ready to shoot; it shouldn't have any effect on the rotation or direction of your shot
- don't flick your wrist to shoot the ball (great shooting is a nice fluid motion; your wrist should naturally flop forward)
- The last thing that the ball should touch as it leaves your hand is your index finger and your middle finger - this will cause the ball to go straight up and will give it a nice backspin (if the ball has a "weird" spin, then it probably isn't touching your index and middle fingers as it leaves your hand
- keep your arm extended until the ball comes back down (this will help you to remember to follow through when you are on the court shooting for real)
- as you do the drill, visualize yourself out on the court shooting baskets. Every time you shoot the ball up in the air, run a mental movie in your head where you see the ball swishing through the net.
I like to do 3 sets of 30 shots on my bed or floor, but you can start out by just doing 2 or 3 sets of 10 per night. Then gradually build up.
A great way to multiply the effects of this drill is to do this at night before you go to bed. That way, it'll be the last thing you are thinking about and your mind will do it over and over while you sleep.
Copyright © 2003-2006 B. Dale. Feel free to copy this article for your website, newsletter, or book as long as you give me credit AND include a link to ShootingDrills.com.
For more on proper form and touch and conditioning yourself for successful basketball shooting, please read about Tom Nordland's video on the Products page.